3. George Karlaftis is the most underrated edge rusher in the AFC
After all that bagging on the linebacking corps, another defensive player played out of his mind. George Karlaftis had a stellar game against the Denver offensive line, leading the Chiefs with 2.5 sacks on the day. He also set career highs with seven combined tackles and four solo tackles. The All-22 film coming out later this week should shed more light on how effective Karlaftis was in Mile High.
Frankly, this is not an outlier game. Karlaftis has been one of the best pass rushers in the AFC this season so far. Sure, he does not have a game-wrecking quality that forces every offensive coordinator to fear him, but he is producing like one. Entering Week 8, he was tied for the sixth-most total pressures among all NFL edge rushers, according to PFF. The grading service will certainly reward him with another strip sack of Russell Wilson.
The 22-year-old's highly touted motor has shown up time and time again this season. He still trails Chris Jones and Mike Danna in total sacks but paces the Chiefs defensive line in many other metrics. All Chiefs fans see is Karlaftis getting better and better each week, it seems. It is a good sign and speaks to defensive line coach Joe Cullen's ability to coach up players.
Karlaftis is getting to the point where offensive coaches should start to scheme around him. His three batted passes at the line are the second most among all edge players. He is not missing many tackles anymore, and his ability to stop the run has only gotten better since Week 5. Karlaftis is a guy whom Chiefs fans should credit more with the defense's rise, and the opposition should devote more time to stopping him on gameday.